The Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum aims to promote trade facilitation as an important component of a comprehensive strategy for national and regional development. The Forum, now held annually at the request of participants to the first event, provides an open regional platform to exchange information, experiences and practices for trade facilitation in Asia-Pacific, identify priority areas for regional cooperation and integration, and learn about new tools and services which can increase the efficiency of cross-border transactions that will ultimately improve the competitiveness of firms in the region. The Forum also intends to strengthen regional cooperation and coordination of Aid for Trade and related technical assistance and capacity building in trade facilitation. Participants to the Forum include government officials, traders and public and private service providers from Central Asia, South, Southeast and East Asia as well as the South Pacific.
In addition to regular panel and breakout sessions, an Exhibition on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade is organized in parallel with the Asia pacific Trade Facilitation Forum, to maximize information sharing on the works, practices, case studies and findings of trade facilitation service providers, researchers, as well as development/donor agencies, international organizations and government agencies.
Following up on the recommendations of the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2009, which emphasized the need to improve regional and subregional connectivity, the theme of this year’s Forum is “Trade Facilitation for Regional Connectivity: Advancing Paperless Trade”. Taking into account the varying stages at which countries of the greater Asia-Pacific region stand in their trade facilitation initiatives, subregional sessions have now been included, to be organized with the support of relevant subregional organizations and partners.
The Forum will be followed by a Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade (GFP) Meeting and a study tour of some of Malaysia’s trade facilitation related facilities. A number of other side-events on trade facilitation will also be held in parallel or back-to-back with the Forum, as part of an Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Week, organized in collaboration with GFP members, including the World Bank, UNCTAD, WCO, ASEAN Secretariat and others.
- Enable sharing of experiences and knowledge on trade facilitation between countries of the greater Asia and Pacific region
- Foster increased understanding and exchange of views between public and private stakeholders, as well with trade facilitation standards developers and technical assistance providers
- Learn about and draw lessons from on-going implementation of national and regional trade facilitation measures
- Support subregional trade facilitation initiatives
- Introduce relevant international tools, instruments, and facilities aimed at increasing the efficiency of regional and global cross-border trade, including latest tools by the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific
Who should participate?
- Senior government officials involved in import, export, and transit policy, facilitation and control – To learn from the experience of some of the most successful countries in the region, as well as gain insights from those of other countries that may face similar difficulties; To gain a unique understanding of the regional trade facilitation situation and to increase awareness of available tools and solutions to reduce red tape and improve competitiveness; To interact with experienced developer of electronic trade facilitation systems and donors for possible collaboration.
- International organizations and development agencies with an interest or on-going activities on trade facilitation in Asia-Pacific – To share information on their activities and initiatives they support in the area of trade facilitation; To learn what others are doing in this area and identify opportunities for cooperation and potential synergies.
- Trade facilitation service providers – to inform and network with participants from a unique set of emerging economies about services offered and potential impact on trade efficiency; To understand the problems faced by traders, regulators and development agencies and identify opportunities for the development of relevant services and solutions.
- Trade and development policy analysts and researchers from the region – to share findings with policy makers and other government officials influencing or implementing trade regulations; to understand the practical problems faced by traders, regulators and development agencies and identify relevant research questions accordingly.
Format of the event
- Plenary sessions: These sessions will feature panels of experienced policy makers/analysts/presenters/experts to introduce selected issues of broad regional relevance and interest, followed by open discussion.
- Regional sessions: Recognizing that subregions in the Asia-Pacific region face different trade facilitation and are different stages of single window and paperless trade development, these breakout sessions will provide an opportunity for participants to share experiences and discuss issues more specifically related to their own subregions. These sessions will be organized in cooperation with participating subregional organizations to ensure that the recommendations emerging from the sessions can be taken into account in future subregional programmes and initiatives.
- Multimedia Exhibition: to maximize information sharing, trade facilitation service providers, researchers/analysts, as well as development/donor agencies, international organizations and government agencies are invited to prepare posters and/or interactive multimedia presentations highlighting their work or presenting relevant case studies or findings. For more details on the multimedia exhibition, please click here.